Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Florida Has Giant Spiders

This morning, as I was minding my own business in the garage, I came upon what has to be the largest Wolf Spider I've ever seen. Its body was at least two inches long and from the look of things it had been eating quite well in the murky darkness, as there were lots of hollowed out insect carcasses laying around the immediate vicinity of this enormous arachnid. My guess is that this is a Rabid Wolf Spider (Lycosa rabida) but will patiently await the scrutiny of my panel of experts out there in cyberspace.

According to the Audubon Field Guide To Insects & Spiders: "This species is harmless to people, but its bite is often feared----hence its common name. According to a legend, the only way to save a victim bitten by the related European Tarantula is to dance the tarantella."

In other words you'd better watch where you're walking when it's summertime in Florida.


(Lycosa rabida)

21 comments:

DoBell said...

The spider looks like she’s walking into the ocean at a Florida beach. Are those tiny black specks PEOPLE? She is a giant. By the way, “minding my own business in the garage” sounds kind of kinky. It’s a good thing the spider came along. DoBell

Anonymous said...

You think THATS a big spider? The one I just chased (Unfortunately) into my air-conditioning vent was 5 times that big! What kind was it??? It was all dark brown, with no markings of any kind but its legs were 3x the length of any other spider's legs I've seen and VERY thick and hairy!!!! This is the FOURTH spider of this kind I have seen in this house in St. Pete!!!AHHH! I love all creatures, even rats and snakes,lizards and all bugs, but I can't deal with THIS!!! I'll take a picture if I can.Waternymph

J M said...

I have lived all over Florida. It's a wolf spider. They love houses around trees. They carry their babies on there backs. I sprayed a giant one when it came out, it had been living in my fireplace, when I did, OMG, babies everywhere. Millions!! Tiny babies. I proceeded to doing the La cooka rocha on them, screaming the whole time. Gross!! The adult spiders are huge, you can hear them running on the ceiling at night. Bug spray residue doesn't kill them because they don't clean themselves. You have to spray or squash them. And yes their legs come out from under the shoe they are so big. I have never heard of one biting a human, but I have seen them trap a lizard in their web and proceed to take bites out of them. That's right, they do not wrap their prey for later. I saw red flesh on this poor lizard. Not all houses have them, I moved!!! Maybe you could trap them? Good luck!!!

Anonymous said...

ROTFL! I'm a FL native & have had just about every creature crawl into the house at some point or another. We had one of the giant wolf spiders you described and it lived in our upstairs hallway. Couldn't kill it. It was too fast. We tried to get it with the broom once, but it crawled up the broom handle toward us. Scared us to pieces but since it seemed impossible to get rid of, and we knew it was harmless, we named it instead. Irving lived with us for several years. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Anonymous said...

Kewl!

You ever watch those things shed/change their skin?
It is one of the most interesting things ever. It takes hours for it to happen and when it does they go hide for a day or few till their skin hardens and not so vulnerable to bugs or whatever attacking them. (exoskeleton actually)
Watching the skin "split" then they crawl out of it is really kewl.

Also -- they don't take "bites" out of their prey.
They cannot digest solid food so they inject their prey with venom (that basically digests their prey to liquid) then the spider "sucks" up the liquified food.

Interesting Interesting critters.

Anonymous said...

I actually think EVERYONE is GREATLY confusing this and most all other " Giant House Spiders" in Florida with the huntsman spider. I live in Ocala, Fl and have researched many spiders. I also have been a pest control operator for over two years. I have lived in ALL parts of Florida all of my 34 years of life. Here is a link to the huntsman spider.....http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/urban/spiders/giant_crab_spider.htm

Anonymous said...

Yeah I agree with the last persons post. Lots of Floridians confuse the "huntsman" spider with a wolf spider! Listen everybody, WOLF SPIDERS DO NOT GET VERY BIG! And especially NOT as big as the one in the pic. That is a female "huntsman" spider. Do your research!

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm glad irving found a good home on my birthday because he definately wasn't on the guest list. I had to do zena the warrior princess, with a broom, a wet rag and a bottle of raid, He wasn't that big only about the size of my hand. the other one though is outside and I could hear it march across a tarp. And now I know that those empty spidy suits hanging on the house and because they died of old age, I've got to come up with a new plan of strategies. I'm sure they have surrounded the perimeter and have any eviction notice for me-I hated spiders before, but this is my first year in the forest and I plan on starting therapy asap.

Anonymous said...

Me and my wife and 4 year old son stayed in Kissimmee on holiday from England, on the day before we were preparing to go home my wife spotted a huge web under the coffee table, there was a spider in the web and she was going to get it with some tissue paper, I said that was not a good thing as it could bite, anyway I an afraid of spiders but on this occasion went to the kitchen and killed it with a spatula, it turned out to be a brown recluse, we has stayed in the house for two weeks before we knew it was there.

JENNUWINN said...

Hello :)
I am in Port St. Lucie, Florida. I woke up to the biggest spider I have ever seen that was on my ceiling. The one on your page looks like a baby compared to the one I just had in my house. I took a pic of him. The legs were at least 3 inches and the body was pretty healthy as well. It was all brown. I went to Wiki, typed in giant house spider and the one on the top of their page was close in looks but this one had thicker legs. The only thing I had available was something called "spray nine" cleaner to kill it for the spray reached a good 4 feet away. Oh my heart is still racing a mile a minute. Wish I could send you the photo I took so that someone can identify it. Thanks for allowing me to share.

Anonymous said...

This is so funny i found this blog after seeing the biggest spider ive ever seen in florida in my bathroom sink last night, i tried to catch it in a rybbermaid but the think was so fast it zipped under the sink . I figured it was a wolf spider but never seen one as big,like a tarantula but not as thick , OH this is the master bath in a mobile home, no doors, had to go to sleep it was 2 a.m , lucky i had a big toasty greenbean to smoke,LOL , if mr wolfy bit me in my sleep it would have been like eating a "M" Brownee for the spider LOL , spacakes, space people, no wonder why he hangs in my sink at night, i do have some bite marks, IS HE snack,n on me , stealin my thc....................LOLLLLLOOOLOLOL

Anonymous said...

I also live in port st lucie, I have seen 3 of those spiders in my house and could only kill one. What is it?!

Anonymous said...

I live in PSL as well and I just killed a bigggg spider that I found as I walked into my room. I don't think I'm sleeping in my room for a few weeks. Haha

Nicole Crouch said...

My husband grew up in Central Florida, East Coast. He says he saw a large, brown, flat spider on the white walls of his house a few times growing up, and one time later when living in an apartment. It's apparently a "huntsman" female. Looks big and menacing, and very fast, but harmless...unless you're a cockroach. He just killed a wolf spider on my back porch in N. Fl. tonight, though he hated to do it - they're harmless as well, though this female looked VERY intimidating. I didn't care for its proximity to the inside of my house! She didn't move when we shined a flashlight on her. That was an effective distraction. Squish!

Anonymous said...

I just found what appears to be a huge Huntsman in my closet. I have Home Defense spray in several locations in my house. Gave it a good spray (from 4ft away, of course)and it could not escape. It is dead. I suffer from a serious arachnophobia. Last year we had 4 of those "things" in our room and closet. I slept with the light on for months. We love our trees but wish the spiders would stay outside. If they come in my house they will meet their untimely demise every time.

Anonymous said...

Just caught a big one in the woodpile and moved him closer to the house

Used to let gecko loose inside.

Live and let live and respect all of gods creatures

Ben Wilson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben Wilson said...

We have a number of huntsman, wolf and crevice, black widows and jumping spiders spiders around. Had what was most likely a huntsman fall out of a tree while i was working on the outside phone box and it hit the dog house and went splat about 3 inches from my head. I scooby doo'd all over the yard for 5 minutes, screaming and dancing the wild thing like I was insaine. Never in my life have I seen a spider so huge with so much weight that it would go splat from a fall. - another story, probably a crevice spider or something similar, I was doing crunches in the living room and laid back to rest, felt something on my hair, put my hand on my head to feel, and it walked right across my face, i could feel its legs griping my skin as it ran quickly to get away from my hand. OH the scooby doo came out again!! it was slightly smaller than my hand spread out and I spontaneously had what looked like a painful macarena hoola dance with shoes on my hands to make sure it was as thin as I could get it. Good times, I didn't do sit ups for a year!!

Anonymous said...

I lived in Port Saint Lucia about 10 years ago and had Cadillac size spiders. I think they were called giant crab spiders. Also had an infestation of brown widows around the outside. Yuck!

Anonymous said...

We found a solid black shiny spider with praying-like fangs in our house here in northwest Florida. Scary is not the word for it! Any idea what this might be?

Anonymous said...

In the last 2 days I have had to 2 of theses spiders in my house...while everyone ran including my boyfriend I can't stand them I never saw them until my boyfriend started to up the temp. in my house to 75 degrees. I told him to lower it to 73 and they will stay out too cold for them